Bustas Food Hub, Paarl
10:00 - 20:00 Mon to Thurs
10:00 - 13:00, 14:00 - 22:00 Frid
10:00 - 22:00 Sat
Price Range (p/p)
Cheap | Under R100
The Boland is not known for catering well to Muslims. Despite a reasonably well developed Muslim community, it’s still a challenge to find good halaal restaurants in the area. Bustas Foodhub is one of the few halaal establishments in Paarl who are discerning themselves with a menu a cut above the average takeaway.
You don’t have to twist my arm too hard to drive out to the Boland. It is after all one of the Cape’s most scenic routes. So we took a leisurely drive out to Paarl to sample some of the wares from this outlet making a name for itself on Instagram lately.
Run by husband and wife team, Abdul Manaan and Shabnum Gaffoor, they had originally started in sleepy Wellington and then moved the business to Paarl, further north and only slightly less sleepy. Their spot on Lady Grey street in the busy centre of town is ideal and they get a cross section of customers from blue collar to corporates to families.
At first glance the set-up is very much like a typical fast food joint, although the menu stretches across one entire wall and looks vast. On closer inspection though you’ll spot some interesting things on the menu. They’ve tapped into their Indian roots and created a fusion of sorts between typical Cape Town fast food dishes like the humble chip roll and traditional Indian flavours like green chillies and dhanya chutney.
We had a seat at one of 3 tables for people eating in. There is space for more tables but it’s not their main focus. I couldn’t help thinking there was decent space to have comfortable booth seating which would make this a good sit down experience. With there being so few options in the area this would be a nice addition for locals from the area as well as tourists like us.
But on to the important stuff, the food. We simply had to try the chip roll fusion called the Chillie Chippie Wrap, which is chips wrapped in a roti with their house sauce and green chutney. It’s usually served like a salomie but they cut it for us to show what was inside. I loved the green chutney flavour. It was like eating something I had made at home. At R27 it’s R10 more expensive than a chip roll but I’d take a roti over a roll any day.
The Pizza Burger is also something unique that they do. The top of a roll is hollowed out and filled with pizza filling and topped with cheese. Their new flavor was Tikka Chicken which was spicy without being too hot. There are various flavours and are good value from about R27 for vegetarian to R35 for steak, served with chips on the side.
Don’t want to mix your pizza’s and burgers, they also do regular pizzas. We tried the new deboned Rib pizza which had their secret house sauce which for me was a little bit like a dhanya sauce. Not the neon green variety you can buy in the supermarket, but a good quality homemade sauce. I also like the sweet sourness from the pineapple on the topping. I know that ribs are all about the fat as well as the meat, but I didn’t quite enjoy the little bits of rib fat that I could taste. But I know rib lovers will enjoy this one.
And then there were actual ribs. You don’t normally get ribs at a fast food place but like I said their menu is not typical. The ribs had really good flavour and though they were just a tad tough still they were sticky and saucy and left you wanting more. It’s served with a good portion of chips at R60 for 200g.
And of course, no self-respecting take away doesn’t have a Toasted Masala Steak Sandwich. They toast their bread without butter so you don’t end up with a greasy mess in your hands. The masala steak has a proper old school flavor without sweetness, like something you’d make at home. This sandwich is not shy and filled with steak, egg, chips and salad, will not leave you hungry.
They cater for kids with smaller kid friendly meals and even have some breakfast options. And the piece de resistance, you’ll be glad to know that you can now also get a good Falooda this far north of the Southern Suburbs.
The owners are very hands on and spend time developing their menu and trying new things. This spot has the makings of a sit down restaurant or even a Roadhouse. They could easily be like a Wembley in the Boland.
We were invited to try this restaurant. All opinions are strictly our own.